Why Video Games Live and Tommy Tallarico are damaging video game music

I’ve been listening to video game music for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I spent a lot of my allowance on the Final Fantasy soundtracks. When I was in college, I did a radio show that comprised largely of video game music.

While there have been video game music concerts in Japan since the early nineties, it’s only been in the last six or seven years that they’ve made their way to western shores. Arnold Roth brought the Distant Worlds (Final Fantasy) series to America, and also led Play! for many years. John Michael Paul, who produced Play!, also put together the Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess series. And then there’s Tommy Tallarico, who has been putting on Video Games Live. Video Games Live has been performed to sold out audiences around the world. It’s attracted thousands of gamers and is sort of its own empire.

It’s also ruining video game music, and Tommy Tallarico solely deserves the blame. He has singlehandedly ruined video game music.

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November 17th, 2013 - Posted in essays, video games |

Voice acting

Just a quick thing: I’m pretty sure all the voice actors who worked on the English port of Xenoblade Chronicles should be strapped down and forced to listen to their own recordings for the rest of time. Especially the guy who voiced Riki. Urgh..

August 11th, 2012 - Posted in video games |

How to extract and convert Skyrim audio

In a moment of self-indulgent nerdiness, I spent a fair amount of time scouring the Internet and figuring out how to extract the dragon shouts from Skyrim. These directions could also be used to extract anything. Hopefully this post helps someone who was as lost as I was.

  1. Download BSA Unpacker, Voice file extractor, and xWMAEncode.
  2. Use BSA Unpacker and point it at Skyrim – Voices.bsa. It’s in the Skryim\data folder.
  3. Look through and find all the files you want to extract. For the shouts, for example, I extracted everything that started with maleeventoned/voicepowers_.
  4. Extract everything to its own folder.
  5. To convert one .fuz file to a .wav, do:
    fuz_extractor.exe -e file.fuz
    xWMAEncode.exe file.xwm file.wav

Basically how this works is that fuz_extractor pulls out the .lip and .xwm from the .fuz, and then xWMAEncode converts the .xwm to a .wav file.

Now obviously this is tedious for some eighty-odd files, so I used PowerShell, a really useful scripting tool that comes with Windows. Here’s the script I ran:

cd c:\shouts
foreach($f in $(gci C:\shouts | % {$_.BaseName})) {
    .\fuz_extractor.exe -e $f.fuz
    .\xWMAEncode.exe $f.xwm $f".wav"

And then just let it run. You’ll have to tweak it to fit your own setup, but that’s how I did it. Once you’ve got your .wav files, you can do whatever you want with them. You could run them right through an MP3 encoder and get MP3s, or you could edit them in Audacity.

January 18th, 2012 - Posted in technology, video games |

His poor career

I wonder if Adam Sandler just really hates his career. For awhile there he was doing serious films that people actually liked (Funny People, Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me),  and then he goes and does Jack and Jill? Seriously? Does he just hate himself or something?

I look forward to reading the stellar reviews this film is sure to get.

November 9th, 2011 - Posted in movies |

Train converts

Walk anywhere in Manhattan and you’re bound to cross paths with someone who’s trying to convert you. The guys in the Times Square station who hand out the Chick tracts are probably the most well known, but on any random day you can get a pamphlet about how Santa is the devil or about how the country is run by a new world order. The station where I transfer for work has been targeted by Jews for Jesus.

My question is, do these people really see any return for their efforts? Do they have followers who have converted after receiving some poorly made flyer? I sure as hell hope not, but if they do, I’d be curious to meet these people. Personally I can’t imagine being that easily swayed by what some crazy person hands me as I’m walking to the platform, but maybe other people are that gullible? Maybe. I don’t know.

July 24th, 2011 - Posted in essays |




The last show I saw was Mythos at 92nd St Y - New York, NY on Oct 6, 2014.
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About Me

Hey there. I'm a web developer who works and lives in New York City.